James helps power No. 10 NC State past Mount St. Mary’s

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Aziaha James came off the bench to score 17 of her 19 points in the second half for No. 10 North Carolina State in its 86-38 romp over Mount St. Mary’s on Sunday.

Diamond Johnson had 13 points and Jada Boyd and Madison Hayes both scored 11 points for the Wolfpack (3-0), who overpowered the Mountaineers with a 63-21 rebounding advantage.

“We did a really good job of crashing,” N.C. State coach Wes Moore said of the rebounding. “I think great teams really take advantage of the boards at both ends.”

Hayes had 11 rebounds. James made 6 of 7 shots from the field, including two 3-pointers.

It was the fourth time in four years that a Wolfpack opponent failed to reach the 40-point mark.

“We’re starting to play great defense together,” N.C. State wing Jakia Brown-Turner said. “I thought it was all about our effort. We’re just going to keep rebounding because that’s what wins games.”

Natalie Villaflor scored 13 points for Mount St. Mary’s (0-3), which went 5 for 34 on 3-pointers.

“If you’ve got some space, you’ve got to let it fly,” Mount St. Mary’s coach Antoine White said of the approach.

N.C. State secured a 30-3 edge in second-chance points in a trend that began early, rebounding seven of its 13 missed shots in the first quarter.

Mount St. Mary’s is a perimeter-oriented team. The Mountaineers were retreating quickly after launching shots, figuring they weren’t doing much damage on offensive boards.

“We’re not winning that battle,” White said.

Moore said the first week of the season provided a nice buildup for the Wolfpack’s future matchups.

“A lot of people did some good things,” Moore said. “I still see the warts. A lot of things we have to do better. We are improving in some areas. We’re trying to share the ball a little bit more. I saw some really nice passes.”

N.C. State led 42-13 at halftime. The Mountaineers shot 17.2% in the first half, but they were intent on sticking to an offensive plan.

“It’s so hard to get a rhythm,” White said of dealing with the Wolfpack’s defense. “They’re so tall and athletic.”

The Wolfpack pulled away while Mount St. Mary’s went almost six minutes without a point and more than eight minutes without a field goal during a span extending across the first and second quarters.

BIG PICTURE

Mount St. Mary’s: The Mountaineers will need to shoot at a better clip to give themselves a chance against this type of competition. They worked for a number of open shots on the perimeter but couldn’t knock many down. Mount St. Mary’s also suffered lopsided losses at Virginia Tech and Richmond.

N.C. State: This was the third of four season-opening home games for the Wolfpack before a trip to Connecticut for a rematch of last season’s NCAA regional final. This should give coach Wes Moore a glimpse of how combinations will work, particularly with roles changing and new personnel mixing in. Reserves racked up 45 points in Sunday’s game.

BEEN HERE BEFORE

Mount St. Mary’s and N.C. State had met twice before, with the Wolfpack winning both times. The most recent clash came in 2014.

But the Mountaineers visited Reynolds Coliseum in March for an NCAA Tournament first-four meeting with Longwood, which won the game before losing to a top-seeded N.C. State team.

TIP-INS

N.C. State senior Brown-Turner eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career on a short jumper in the third quarter to become the 37th women’s player at the school to reach that milestone. “It feels great. I never thought of scoring that many points,” Brown-Turner said. She had more than 300 points in each of the past three seasons. … Mount St. Mary’s has lost 10 straight November games against Division I foes, with nine of those on the road.

UP NEXT

Mount St. Mary’s: At home Saturday vs. Navy.

N.C. State: At home Wednesday vs. Charlotte.

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